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Ceridian Fuels International Growth Plans with Acquisition of Excelity Global


Since its IPO in early 2018, Ceridian has remained focused on reaching its goal of achieving $1bn in revenues. A key pillar of its growth strategy toward achieving that goal is the continued adoption of its Dayforce HCM platform by large multi-national buyers across key verticals, and expanding its adoption globally by enabling and offering integrated core HR, workforce management, payroll, and talent management to targeted countries, particularly the U.K. and Australia (which both helped it achieve 150% y/y growth outside of North America in FY’19).

To that end, Ceridian set out to expand its native global payroll capability, targeting ~20 countries over the next few years, and has quickly enabled Dayforce to support seven countries: U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Mauritius. Today, it supports nearly 4m users across >60 countries and this is growing rapidly. 

Ceridian’s global payroll capability received a huge boost last month when it announced it would acquire Singapore-based Excelity Global, a leading APJ-focused HCM technology and managed services provider producing ~1.2m pay-slips monthly. The move now positions Ceridian as one of the largest and most capable HCM technology and services providers in the APJ region.

Further, with its September 2019 acquisition of APJ-based workforce management solution provider RITEQ, Ceridian now has a highly competitive, combined core HR, WFM, payroll, and talent offering, specifically localized for the APJ region. 

Excelity’s impact on Ceridian’s capability

Not only does Excelity bring with it a proprietary cloud technology localized across 13 major countries in APJ, but it also brings a strong managed service offering, expertise, and delivery presence in the region supported by six primary centers, a key differentiator over other firms Ceridian evaluated. 

From a technology perspective, Excelity has cultivated a strong proprietary native payroll capability and recently launched an HCM technology offering in 2019, including:

  • EPay: PaaS payroll solution targeted to employers with >500 employees and configured for gross-to-net calculation in 13 countries (Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan)
  • Ezpayroll: SaaS payroll solution targeted to employers with <500 employees and configured for gross-to-net calculation in 12 APJ countries (Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam). As well as an integrated third-party digital wallet through its GCash partnership in the Philippines
  • Excelity HCM: cloud-based integrated HCM platform technology.

It also brings a well-adopted managed payroll services offering that currently supports >300 clients with operations in multiple countries across the APJ region, including several notable brands such as Forbes, Volvo, Uber, and Mondelez, enabled by an in-region delivery footprint and capability that spans five countries (India, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines), a key factor in supporting Dayforce’s continued adoption in the APJ region, and boosting Ceridian’s global presence.

The combined organization’s global footprint significantly enhances Ceridian’s “follow the sun” capability in support of service delivery, as well as its further development and innovation of future HCM technology.

Ceridian’s outlook

With the Excelity deal now closed, Ceridian has begun the process of merging and integrating the two organizations and capabilities, which is always the top challenge to any acquisition, particularly with two organizations at opposite ends of the globe.

While Ceridian doesn’t have a deep history of acquiring its capabilities, the complementary nature of the Dayforce HCM platform, combined with the strength of Excelity’s APJ experience and capability, should fit nicely, boosting its product offering, targeting, and adoption by firms in the region, as well as among North American and European based multi-national firms with operations in the APJ region.

A key decision for Ceridian will be deciding how to best leverage the additional technology Excelity brings. Will it be necessary to keep both Epay and Ezpayroll? And what becomes of Excelity HCM now that Dayforce is the parent flagship HCM platform (particularly as it seeks to shift Excelity’s client base to Dayforce)?

Ceridian plans to immediately leverage its global connectors to bring the Dayforce HCM platform and Excelity’s payroll technology together, en route to an eventual full integration. It further intends to enable Dayforce with localizations aligning to the set of countries covered by Excelity, with more expected to come longer-term through its roadmap.

While APJ is well in focus and adoption increasing, Ceridian has its sights set on deepening its global presence and capability. Late in June, it launched localization for Mauritius, with its first client, (IBL Group, a large multi-national firm with ~27k employees in 22 countries), as well as Germany, and Mexico planned by the end of 2021. It further supplements local payroll through its partner network to support broader EMEA and LATAM, and provide payroll coverage for 157 countries.

With Dayforce maturing steadily through its roadmap, including recent capabilities like Dayforce Wallet (U.S. only, with Canada set to launch in 2021), Dayforce Intelligence, Dayforce Safety Monitor, and deeper talent management capability (e.g. AI-driven recruiting), Ceridian is well positioned to gain continued adoption, particularly from strategic-minded, multi-national firms seeking next-generation HCM capabilities.

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